Los Angeles (51-49) at Tampa Bay (42-59)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 12:15 pm EDT Wed Jul 26, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

If the Los Angeles Angels are to win the AL West, they likely need the reigning Cy Young Award winner to pitch like one. Bartolo Colon often does against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Facing a team he has dominated throughout his career, Colon and the Angels conclude their three-game series against the Devil Rays on Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field.

Colon (1-5, 4.55 ERA) is 8-1 with a 3.02 ERA in 14 lifetime starts against Tampa Bay. The right-hander did not have a decision July 16 against the Devil Rays, who reached him for three runs in six innings before Los Angeles (51-49) pulled out a 7-5 victory.

It has been a frustrating season for Colon, who won 21 games in 2005. He missed two months due to a shoulder injury and has only one win in six starts since being activated from the disabled list June 18.

In his last start, Colon’s lone mistake—a three-run homer by David DeJesus — contributed to an 8-3 loss Friday to the Kansas City Royals as he allowed four runs in six innings.

“Bart, outside of the pitch to DeJesus that got back into the heart of the plate, didn’t pitch that poorly,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “If anything, the ball was up a little bit and moved too much. He pitched well enough to give us a chance to win.”

Colon will try to keep the Angels at least tied for the AL West lead as they enter this game tied with the Oakland A’s for first place.

With an off day following this game, Scioscia likely will hold Garret Anderson out of the lineup for the second straight game to help him rest his sore hamstring. Anderson, who went 3-for-5 in Monday’s victory, has not played in the outfield since July 14.

Tampa (42-59) snapped a six-game losing streak to Los Angeles with a 6-3 victory Tuesday as Ty Wigginton homered and drove in four runs. Wigginton tied the game in the sixth inning with a two-run homer, his career high-tying 17th, before capping a four-run seventh with a two-run double.

“He’s been a clutch hitter for us all season,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “What he did tonight didn’t surprise me.”

The Devil Rays have won only four series against the Angels since entering the majors in 1998, though their last one was a three-game sweep from Aug. 26-28.

Casey Fossum (4-3, 4.84) will try to win consecutive starts for the first time since Aug. 21 and 26 of last season. The left-hander allowed three runs and struck out six in five innings Friday as the Devil Rays routed the Baltimore Orioles 14-5.

Fossum has pitched well at home this season, going 2-1 with a 3.33 ERA in nine starts and holding opponents to a .203 batting average. The Devil Rays got him off the hook for the loss to the Angels in the July 16 game after he allowed five runs—three earned—in 5 2-3 innings.

The southpaw is 2-0 with a 4.95 ERA in seven lifetime appearances against the Angels, allowing 24 runs and 41 hits in 36 1-3 innings.

Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo, the subject of trade rumors heading to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, is expected to be in the lineup after missing the last three games with a bruised right middle finger.

Right fielder Johnny Gomes, mired in a 4-for-53 (.075) slump that has dropped his average 30 points to .225, also is expected to be in Tampa’s lineup after Maddon said Gomes “must fight through it.”

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Starting Pitchers

B. Colón NYM vs. C. Fossum NYM
1-5 Record 6-6
5.11 ERA 5.33
31 K 88
11 BB 63
1.46 WHIP 1.53